Is Entrepreneurship Inborn or Taught?

Are entrepreneurs born or are they made? A topic of heated discussion, most of the old guard swears that entrepreneurship is an inherent trait that cannot be taught - it is inborn. However, if one looks at the number of B-Schools springing up and thriving on popular demand, it certainly appears that entrepreneurship can be taught (the results of which can be debateable, as is the topic at hand). But do both hold true or does one trump over the other? *insert tolerance appropriated Donald Trump joke here*

The younger crop of course always proves that they will rebel and revolt against the status quo and push the envelope to prove their worthiness. And we do so fairly well too… and then comes the inopportune self-doubt when “everything’s a mess, and no one likes to be alone…” So how does one battle that “damn-cold-night”?

About 50 years ago, India was not so densely populated and entrepreneurship did not consist of much. He would have to collect money from own savings, family and friends and kick start his venture in a small way. All it required was a basic sales force that went cold calling, explaining the virtues of their product or service; and an accounts department (very often outsourced to the next-door CA). Thus you had an Administrative Department, which often doubled up as HR and Operations. Back then, there were no dedicated sections for high-gloss activities, such as branding, imaging and product forecasting, or PR and marketing for that matter.

Having said that, this alone is simply not enough to ensure success in a world that bears scant resemblance to its earlier avatar. The passage of time, the explosion of population and the proliferation of technology (leading to real-time communication, awareness and an increasing demand for innovation and international quality) have made it impossible for an entrepreneur to ignore the demands of a modern business. Today, ventures cannot start out with just a brilliant idea. They have to plan, project and present the idea in the most alluring manner to the customer, besides ensuring modern quality and service.

B-Schools equip a wannapreneur with the vital tools of the trade and exposure to the current business workings scenario. B-Schools even have courses for family-owned businesses, as taking over from the last generation is no more a lucky inheritance, but can be a white elephant, if timely changes and makeovers are not undertaken to bring the business up to date with modern times. Learning skills related to the modern world of business marketing, packaging, presentation and many other aspects give one an edge over other competitors and help in realising one’s entrepreneurial dreams.

So… inborn or taught, hard work, persistence, and a lot of hustling are the most important tricks which an entrepreneur either is born with, learns, or hires to work for him/ her. Don’t be bogged down, seek help when you think you need it, and keep at it!

Let us know what helped you cope in times when you were told you weren’t cut out for it.


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